1 War Pictures ACMI, Melbourne Image credit Georgie Brooks, 2015
Image credit: Georgie Brooks, 2015
Touring exhibitions for hire

War Pictures: Australians at the Cinema 1914–1918

See how the War was presented on the big screen, and explore the melodramas and comedies that offered entertainment and escapism to those on the home front.

Featuring a fascinating selection of over 30 silent films, shorts, newsreels, propaganda and advertisements produced by the developing local and international film industries between 1914 and 1918.

Between 1914 and 1918, cinema attendance was on the rise and the local film industry was expanding with over 50 Australian feature films produced during the period. While many of these films have been tragically lost, those that remain offer a rare glimpse into Australian life during this turbulent time.

War Pictures offers a wide-ranging selection of local and international material, including a focus on Australia’s ‘lost films’. A specially commissioned musical accompaniment offers contemporary audiences a chance to step back in time and experience cinema as it was enjoyed during the First World War.

Tour schedule

Benalla Art Gallery, Benalla, VIC
29 Apr – 16 Jun 2016

Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool, VIC
10 Sept – 13 Nov 2016

Central Goldfields Art Gallery, Maryborough, VIC
29 Mar – 6 May 2018

Fast Facts

Touring exhibition supported by the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee.

  • 30-40 running metres / 150–200 sqm
  • Includes all exhibition furniture including screening and audio visual equipment, graphics, didactics and label text

In the press

War Pictures takes you to a cinema palace during these turbulent years and gives you a real taste of what it was like to live in Australia during the Great War.

Modmove (Russell Briggs, ACMI Head of Exhibitions & Collections, 2015)

Other resources

War Pictures  - hero image

War Pictures: Australians at the Cinema 1914–1918

What did Australians see at their local cinema during the First World War? Revisit the exhibition.

Learn more
War Pictures - Education Resource - Charlie Chaplin

War Pictures Education Resource

An exhibition kit for educators.

Learn more
Hero of the Dardanelles - Andrew Rolfe - 1915

Australian Cinema during the Great War

Film critic Luke Buckmaster discusses how the years 1914–1918 marked a turbulent period in the history of film in Australia.


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